Take a moment to think about your electric bills over the past several summer seasons. Does the mere thought make you shudder? Each year as we progress into the hottest months of the year, it is an absolute given that our air conditioner usage will cause our energy bills to skyrocket — and there’s nothing we can do about it… or is there?
Common sense dictates that the higher the temperature of our thermostat during the summer, the more money we will save. But in the end, comfort always seems to win out over expense. And even though ceiling fans can cool down a room, they just aren’t enough to keep us comfortable during those hot 90 degree days with the thermostat set at 78.
That’s where blackout curtains come in. Did you know that blackout curtains and shades reduce the amount of heat transferred by your windows? In fact, studies indicate that heat transfer is cut as high as 24 percent. These curtains and shades will keep rooms cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. And most importantly, they will allow you to keep your thermostat at a higher setting during the summer while saving energy at the same time.
The primary purpose of blackout curtains is to block unwanted sunlight. But don’t get these curtains confused with thermal curtains. Blackout curtains keep sunlight from beaming into a room and they can also insulate a room. Thermal curtains have the exact opposite primary purpose — to insulate a room while also being able to block sunlight.
This may sound confusing so you may wonder which type of curtain is best for your home. The answer to that question really comes down to what your home’s biggest problem is. If your home has good insulation with sunlight being the primary issue, then go with blackout curtains. But if the outside light doesn’t bother you and your windows are drafty, then thermal curtains are the better choice.
If you’re not sure if you’ve ever been in a room with blackout curtains before, that is probably not the case. If you’ve even been in a hotel room and pulled the curtains closed in the middle of the day to make your room completely dark, those are blackout curtains and a perfect example of these curtains in action.
And here is one more thing about blackout curtains that you need to know. They should not be placed in the washing machine, bleached or ironed.